Smoke inhalation injury

Patient

Q: I suffered a smoke inhalation injury 10 days ago from a smoke grenade and i still have not fully recovered. when i take a full breath i usually must cough and there is a rough sound coming from my upper chest. i also sometimes wheeze. cold, dry air aggravates the issue. initial treatment was i was taken to the hospital, put on a ventilator, and prescribed an inhaler four times per day. no swelling in the lungs, just an asthmatic reaction. i still have not received my inhaler. to treat myself i purchased a cloth work mask from a hardware store and i wear it whenever i am in dusty places. i have been steadily improving, but this bad sound from my upper chest lingers. what is the recovery time for full, high level athletic activity? is there any permanent damage?

Doctor

A:   Hello
Thank you posting your query on “Ask the Doctor”

You had a trauma from grenade smoke and needed ventilator support means there was some damage to lungs.
Cough for more than a week, associated with wheeze is suggestive of Bronchitis.
Midnight coughing is usually associated with bronco-constriction where cough is usually associated with shortness of breath.
If sputum is greenish in colour it suggests bacterial infection.
There is a possibility of consolidation in lung causing cough with expectoration.
Some obstructive pathology in lungs also a continuous cough.
Please see your doctor.
You may require antibiotics, anti-allergic and painkillers along with decongestants, bronchodilators, inhalers and temporary steroids.
Steam inhalation may help in relieving discomfort in such conditions.
It may take few months to fully recover from the condition if allergic factors are taken care. However, relapses are common.

Wish you good health!

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